Average Orthopedic Surgeon Salary


“Joint Replacement orthopedic surgeons are among the highest paid of all doctors.”

“A primary care physician, who spends around 40-45 minutes consulting with a diabetic, gets paid less than an orthopedic surgeon, who spends only 10-minutes restoring a knee.”

Brief Overview 

A Profession of Fixing Broken Bones

Orthopedic—– or Orthopaedic (Ortho) is a physician who treats the musculoskeletal system of the body. This system includes joints, bones, tendons, muscles and ligaments –all the parts that allow the body to move. These surgeons treat injuries, tumors, degenerative diseases, infections, trauma and congenital deformities. They treat all the parts of body, including hands, feet, spine, shoulders, hips and knees.
They treat patients of all ages – newborns, athletes, elderly, children and adults – with diverse conditions ranging from back pain, knock knees, abnormalities of toes & fingers, cerebral palsy, bow legs, fracture, work or sports-related injuries, club foot to torn ligaments, strains, torn cartilage, osteoporosis and bow legs. Most Ortho surgeons specialize in specific areas of the body or in narrowly focused genres of expertise, like oncology (bone tumors), trauma, pediatrics, reconstructive surgery or sports medicine. Average Orthopedic surgeon salary is directly proportional to his specialty.

Education and Training Entailments

“They Cover the Longest Roads to Become Practicing Doctors as among any other physicians”

To become an Ortho surgeon one must complete 4-years of college, 4-years of medical school followed by 5-years of accredited graduate medical education. Most recognized Orthopaedic residency programs now render 4-years of training inorthopedic surgery and an additional one-year of training in a broad-based approved residency program like pediatrics, general surgery or internal medicine. A few programs, however, require 2-years of general surgery precedent to 3-years of clinical orthopedic studies.
Orthopedics is an extremely competitive arena. As per AMA, there are around 65—residency positions available each year in the 151 approved programs in the United States. Research experience is highly encourage in several programs and clinical rotation may take place in 1- or more affiliated health centers for specific or basic educational needs like rehabilitation and pediatric orthopedics. Each year, tan Ortho spends rigorous hours of studying and attending continuing medical education curriculum to maintain current orthopedics skills and knowledge. This preparation is rewarded greatly in our society.
So, here comes the underlying question? How much is the average Salary Range of an orthopedic surgeon?

Salary-Pay Cheque

One of the Highest Paid Jobs

In the United States, the median salary of a bone surgeon is $409,500. This figure represents a broad array of sub-specialties and salary-packet within the orthopedic surgery arena.  A July 2012 special issue of “Modern Healthcare” journal collected and compared 16- major surgeons compensation surveys in an attempt to find benchmarks for the profession. For orthopedic physicians, the lowest reported salary was $387,092 a year and the highest was $597,540 per annum. Most fell between $470,000 and $570,000. For instance, staffing firm Merritt Hawkins reported  general orthopedic surgeon salary of $541,000 per annum, with a low of $320,000 and high of $720,000. Their competitors at Jackson $ Coker reported general orthopedic surgeon salary of $ 545,581, along with $124,115 in benefits for total average remuneration of $619,797 per annum.

Salary-Packets by Specialty

Certain surveys break down the data for particular specialties within orthopedic surgery. For instance, figures from AMGA (American Medical Group of Association, reported a median income of $457,000 annually for pediatric orthopedic surgeons. The median income for trauma surgeons was same, at $446,457 annually, whereas hand surgeons have a median of $496,983 annually. Physicians specializing in joint replacements and surgeries earned a median salary of $609, 973 per year, while responses from spinal surgeons resulted in a median of $689,803 per year. So, spinal orthopedic physicians were the highest paid on the list, out-earning even neurological doctors, who earned median compensation of $617,000 per year.

Pays on Geography-basis

Huge disparities exit between orthopedic physicians’ salary based on their work locations. The average salary of orthopedic surgeon practicing in New York City is $494,000. In Boston the average salary of orthopedic surgeon is $471,000 and in Los Angeles it is $466,000. In Jackson, Mississippi, the salary of orthopedic surgeon is $390,500 and in Davenport the median salary is $399,000.

Pays on Experience-basis

As per Allied Physicians, a general orthopedic doctor with 1-2 years of experience earned an average salary of $266,000. After 3 years of experience his average salary was $362,000. The maximum salary recorded was $675,000. Hip and joint replacement Orthopedicians having 1-2 years of experience have average salaries of $335,000; doctors with 3-years experience earned average salaries of  $495,000 and the maximum salary recorded was $717,000. Spinal orthopedic specialists with 1-2 years of experience made $390,500, with 3-yaers experience earned average salaries of $680,000 and the maximum salary recorded was $1,372,000. Foot and ankle specialists made low-end-average salaries of $229,000, 3-year averages of $394,000 and maximum salary recorded was $793,000. Additionally, sports medicine surgeons made lower-end salaries of $277,000, 3-years experienced earn 4489,000 and maximum recorded was $772,000.


These numbers compare very well to pay-packets in other disciplines. For instance, the same AMGA compensation survey reports a median salary of $572,855 a year for neurosurgeons, one of few surgeons to compare with orthopedic physicians for earning potential. Plastic surgeons average salary-package was $340,172 a year, while common Orthopedic Surgeon Salary was reported to be $362,000.


According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical needs of growing and aging population will continue to elevate the demand for Orthopedic surgeons. The would result in strong prospects for the surgeons, as the aging people will require treatment for arthritis, knee, spine and hip conditions that would otherwise limit their mobility and well-being. Moreover, the Bureau predicts a24% rise in the number of surgeons practicing in the US in 2010 to 2020.
Becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon is highly demanding career path; however, it is a sort of career that is magnanimously rewarding not merely financially, but with the contribution you are able to make to your community by helping them stay healthy and run in their shoes.

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